By Michael Grant
By Michael Grant
There are all different types of cancer. Leukemia is one type that involves the production of abnormal white blood cells in bone marrow. There are four different types of the more common forms of leukemia, but one type is increasing concern in the black community.
A study done in 2013 showed that African Americans with this type of cancer did not live as long as other patients with the disease, in spite of receiving the same treatment. It’s called Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), also known as chronic myelogenous leukemia). It primarily affects adults, and occurs in about 6,000 people in the U.S. every year. Although it represents 10-15 percent of all the different types of leukemia, it has become a growing concern for African Americans.
What researchers know
What researchers know about the cancer is that this type of leukemia typically grows slowly, but it can quickly accelerate and spread to just about any part of the body. They also found a link between CML and an abnormal chromosome known as the Philadelphia chromosome (Ph chromosome). Further, they know that the disease is usually diagnosed in its chronic phase (early stage) when treatment is very effective for most patients.
What researchers don’t know
What researchers don’t know is why people develop the disease. They also do not know why this form of leukemia is becoming more prevalent in the black community, or why blacks with CML may not live as long as other patients with the disease. Because of the disparity with which this cancer affects African Americans, it is definitely a cancer they need to know more about.
Read more at www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/patient/cml-treatment-pdq leukemia
Public Information Manager/City of Milwaukee/Public Information
Division/Office of the City Clerk/Phone: (414)286.3285/
Following the events of this past weekend, we all saw Milwaukee at one
of its darkest moments. However, our love for our city and our zeal to
ensure a brighter tomorrow obligates us to come together at this moment.
All communities must do their respective parts. More so, the black
Community must unify. To many onlookers it may be perceived that the
black community came together this past Saturday night, but that is not
the case. Saturday night was a manifestation of hopelessness, irritation
and frustration. It is very true that with every action, there is a
reaction. But not every action leads to a solution, and a solution is
what we are searching for.
In order for the black community to make substantial headway in its
endeavors, Milwaukee cannot and must not have another repeat of Saturday
night. I am calling on everyone to gather that same energy, anger, and
motivation and direct it toward strategically addressing the root causes
of the issues.
Collectively we have the power to right wrongs. However, we must use
our brains, we must think. I encourage our city to step out of the
shackles that have limited our minds and constrained our possibilities
for far too long. The mission will be tough and the climb will be
strenuous, but there has never been any great undertaking that hasn’t
extracted its due portion of sweat, tears and labor upon the victor. I
am calling on all of us, from the residents on the north side to the
south side, Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and Asians, the rich and the poor,
to stand up and demand that we invest in the discussions, policies, and
actions that will produce the Milwaukee that we all can be proud of.
I also issue a special charge to Milwaukee’s youth: I ask you to think
before you act. I encourage you to think of what outcome you want to see
and ask yourself if the action you are about to partake in will yield
that result. Trust me, as your peer I understand that screaming voice
that yells from deep inside your gut that tells you that no one is
But I also know that if we lead by example, everyone will take notice.
We have to be the change we want to see.
By Daunte Henderson, BlackDoctor.org Contributor
It’s hard enough to get a man to roll over on his side when he’s sleep to stop his snoring. Now you’re asking a fully woke Black man to lie on his side while he’s conscious and allow somebody he doesn’t know to stick a finger up his butt for a prostate exam? Good luck with that one. We’re kings of the phrase “I’m aight” while the women in our lives are screaming, “Babe, why don’t you go get that checked out ? It’s been three months now.” Men don’t like going to the doctor unless we absolutely have to. That dissonance gets especially greater when there are major check ups on the horizon such as prostate and colon cancer screenings.
Dr. Michele Reed is a board certified family medicine physician who has done tremendous work surrounding the prevention of chronic diseases in the Black community. She provides insight into the top reasons why Black men don’t go to the doctor for major health screenings.
1. Stigma of Having a Disease
We would rather limp than get an ankle brace. Men don’t want to feel or appear weak in any capacity. The stigma of “having something” is too great often for our Black men who are constantly labeled in society already. In addition to being Black, male, this age, this weight, from this place, you now mean to tell me I have X,Y and Z condition? The pressure is too great for our Black men who would rather suffer in silence because of this stigma. Dr. Michele believes part of this stigma is affected by a level of shame in being diagnosed with a condition or disease. Without proper knowledge of the prevalence or nature of a condition, a man’s mind can go astray and believe that he’s done something terrible to cause his newfound condition. When in reality with proper knowledge and regular doctor visits men can understand the source of their diagnosis.
2. We Don’t Know Our Family History
Our bloodline is a gateway to the story of our health’s present and future. If your family has a history of high blood pressure it could help inform you on your next steps to either prevention or maintenance of this condition. Dr. Reed recommends talking to your family once a year about their current and past medical history to get an overview of what’s going on. Awareness can provide you some prevention strategies to extend your life.
3. Lack of Awareness
It’s one thing to go to the doctor, but it’s another to be completely knowledgeable about what your doctor said. Men are often passive participants once they hit the doctor’s office. A brother can go to the doctor and still walk out clueless as to what happened during that visit. Men don’t know how real things can get until it’s too late, so it’s important to ask questions and understand completely why you’re there.
Here are Dr. Michele Reed’s tips to overcome these issues. Pass these on to the men in your care:
Find a doctor you feel comfortable with.
Guys don’t like discussing anything that’s too personal. We’re not the emotional beings that will give you our whole life story. We get especially private when it comes to our health issues. Finding a physician that you feel comfortable speaking to about your concerns is one of the most important steps to developing a healthy lifestyle. Men, we have to let that guard down. Find a doctor that makes you feel at ease.
Hold community leaders accountable for speaking up.
Anybody who has a vested interest in the community and has power needs to speak up about the importance of health screenings. Dr. Reed speaks to church leaders all the time about how their voice has the potential to affect the outcomes of their congregations. She believes that if you can get them to tithe, fast and volunteer their time, they’ll also workout and treat their bodies as temples as well.
Stop being a guinea pig.
Dr. Reed says that oftentimes men are too passive when we go to the doctor. Men need to start asking questions about what’s exactly going on at every step of the process during their doctor visits. If you’re unsure of something have the doctor write it down for you. Stop them and ask for clarification if they’re going too fast or speaking in medically exclusive ways.
Make it a family affair.
It’s a good idea to take a family member to the doctor with you. Dr. Reed says that bringing someone else to the table who loves you will bring out questions that you might not ask. You can’t rely on the medical summary to tell you everything!
Working out as a family can also help to improve the family’s outlook on health. Since you share the same blood, you’ll more than likely share the same medical issues. As an avid runner and member of Black Girls Run, Dr. Reed is a strong advocate of using running as a method to help fight obesity, high cholesterol and other issues that commonly affect Black men and Black people as a whole.
Don’t be afraid.
You can’t be hesitant about going to the doctor because they’re going to stick something up your butt, draw blood, etc. I know it’s uncomfortable and invasive, but it can help prolong your life and it only lasts a few minutes. Just think about it like this: women go through a lot more when they go to the doctor. If they can do it, we can do it!
Nationwide — It is a topic that is somewhat ‘hush hush’. You never really hear anything, until it is too late and everything hits the fan. Across the board, infidelity is a bad seed that can destroy one’s marriage and can eventually spread to other relationships and friendships. The latest statistic, from infidelityfacts.com, says that 53% of the marriages in America end in divorce.
This means that more than half of the marriages are not successful. For every two weddings, there is a great chance that one will end on a bad note. When it comes to divorces, there are a number of reasons a husband and wife can go their separate ways, but one of the most common is infidelity. Although all races have their share of this issue, Nicholas L. Maze, the author of A Man’s Appetite, placed the focus on his community.
“I’m not able write about a specific group of individuals that I don’t have a lot of information on or connect with. Being an African-American, I am able to share our experiences,” says Maze. The title of this in-depth piece of work can be viewed as sexist, but Maze shares his view on this as well. “I’m not attempting to bash any particular sex. In actuality, both sexes are exposed within this book. The title is an attention-grabber, but not against any specific sex. Also, by being a man, I have a better understanding of a man’s view on this topic.” Overall, Author Maze’s new book displays a man and a woman’s appetite.
The great part about the book is that it is not merely about individuals having sexual relations, outside of marriage. There is a deep, unique story that is built around the topic. It takes the reader into situations that they may have experienced, witnessed, or heard about. From the reviews, it seems as if everyone can relate to some character within the story. “We all know an Angie, a Stanley, a Tina, and so forth. I simply wanted to focus on real life and the situations we experience in our own community.” And, A Man’s Appetite does not disappoint.
By Tyomi Morgan –Blackdoctor.org
BlackDoctor.org contributing writer and sextpert Tyomi gets the conversation started about the need for more acceptance of sexual diversity in the Black community. It’s time we pull back the sheets…
I’m a sex and relationship writer and on average my day consists of searching the Internet for new developments in sexuality and gathering interesting topics to share with the masses about how to live out full and healthy sex lives. During my daily Web surfing, I often come across message threads heavily populated with “brothers and sisters” that appear enthusiastic about engaging in discussing topics about sexuality, but I am disappointed every time I read through the comments and become aware of people’s sexual knowledge. It makes me realize that I have much more work to do in bringing sexual awareness to the Black community as a whole.
There are a number of areas within sexuality that need to be remedied in our community, but the simplest thing we can do before moving into becoming better lovers is to expand our education about sexuality. In general, we all know experience to be the best teacher, but when one’s experiences have been completely vanilla (traditional) in expression one tends to negatively judge and dismiss sexual expressions that fall outside of their awareness.
It’s time for our community as a whole to embrace various forms of sexual expression to begin eliminating the negative stigma held against sexuality. At the essence of every person is sexuality, and some people choose to express themselves in ways that may not appeal to your personal desires. In the Black community most expressions of sexuality outside of the traditional are frowned upon, causing division and sometimes insecurities in those who seek to be embraced while living out a well-balanced sex life.
As a sex positive individual, I want to encourage people of color to examine how they approach the subject of sexuality. What attracts you? What turns you on? When you ignore opinions of the masses and listen to your inner voice, what calls out to you as something that would appeal to your sexuality? These are basic questions that need to be addressed to begin a journey towards sexual awareness.
So my challenge to every person of color is to become an expert of your own body, get in touch with what truly turns you on and seek out as much education about your desires as possible to begin living the sex life you deserve.
Actor Tyler James Williams, who made a splash in this year’s breakout indie darling “Dear White People,” sat down with HuffPost Live on Tuesday and touted the film’s portrayal of gay issues, which Williams said have been historically sidelined by the black community.
“Whether we like to address it or not, the African American community is notoriously homophobic,” he said. “We have been coming up on this rough side of the mountain, as far as civil rights issues go, but we haven’t necessarily addressed the fact that there is a whole other side to that civil rights coin, which are gay rights.”
In the film, Williams plays Lionel Higgins, a gay, black university student dealing with the complexity of both his sexual and racial identity. The actor said he was quick to jump at the opportunity because the role challenges dominant perceptions of gay characters. Although black characters in film seem to be evolving past stereotypical media depictions in recent years, LGBT characters have not yet seen the same progression, Williams continued.
“I feel like the new stereotypical character[s] are gay characters, where you can’t just have a regular everyday guy who just happens to be gay, just like many people that I know,” he said. “You don’t automatically need to see and know that [the character is] gay just by his mannerisms. That’s not everybody.”
While Williams was eager to take on the “Dear White People” role, he said some black audiences were not happy with his performance. After seeing — and associating themselves with — so many one-dimensional black male characters on screen, Williams said a character as dynamic as Lionel worried viewers who didn’t identify with him.
“For so long there was so little, I guess, portrayals of the average black American, that the average black American male associated himself with whoever was on TV,” he said. “So in this way, there’s still this mentality of, ‘Okay, you’re a black male on TV. I am you. Wait, you’re gay? I’m not gay! No, no never mind, we’re not the same thing. Forget you. We shun you now.'”
Some of this “backlash” may stem from the undue pressure placed upon minority actors to stay true to their roots, Williams added.
“There’s this interesting thing in the black community of staying real … always representing the community well, which is frustrating in a lot of ways and stressful as well,” he said. “It’s hard to please everybody and stay black and proud.”
Watch the full HuffPost Live interview with actor Tyler James Williams here.
by Richard G. Carter
“Love laughs at a king, kings don’t mean a thing, on the street of dreams…” –Victor Young and Sam Lewis
On a recent night at the corner of 125th St. and Lenox Ave. in Upper Manhattan — as I took-in the sights and sounds of the center of the universe for Black people in America — a funny thing happened. I found myself looking back in time, thinking of Walnut St. where I grew up.
There I was, in the heart of Harlem, sidewalks dripping people, streets choked with cars and taxis and buses, the Apollo Theater marquee lit-up and the “A” train beckoning. Yet, my mind’s eye saw Walnut Street in Milwaukee. And what a vision it was.
Granted, Walnut in my hometown never quite approached 125th in Harlem, but Walnut was Black Milwaukee. It was our street of dreams. It was the set. It was the scene. It was our Harlem. And I remember it like it was yesterday. Good memories have a way of sticking together like the pages in a book, which is why I remember Walnut Street from the late 1940s to the early ‘60s. Me and my running buddies called a short, four-block stretch — from N. 6th to N. 10th Sts. — “the set” and “the scene.” Old-timers gave it a “mayor” and called it “Bronzeville.”
No, this wasn’t New York’s 125th St., or Fifth Ave., or 42nd St., or Times Square, but it was really something — day or not. Especially at night. And it was all ours.
Upbeat Walnut Street, a half-block from my childhood home, started near the southwest corner of 6th with Deacon Jones’ Chicken Shack, whose name even now makes my mouth water. People came from all over town — white folks, too — to get their lips around that succulent, tender stuff.
Moving on toward 7th, there was Larry’s Frozen Custard, home of the Orange Blossom, an out-of-this-world ice cream concoction. Although offering many eating delights, Larry’s mainly served as a place where teenagers and young adults listened to rhythm and blues on the jukebox and sought nonbinding, close relationships. And as someone observed, a boy would have to be a monk to strike out.
For us, the sidewalk outside Larry’s was perhaps the spot to hang out on the set. Just about anybody was liable to show up. For example, I recall the night the great “Brown Bomber” himself, Joe Louis, was explaining how he’d demolished all those clowns in the ring. And the time a youthful Chess Records vocal group called the Five Notes sang a cappella for hours and you swore you were hearing the storied Moonglows.
Back in those days, most taverns, or “joints” on and around Walnut sponsored softball teams in Sunday morning leagues, which was something of a miracle in itself because Saturday nights on the scene were fast and furious. Of course, this meant each joint was the setting of some serious post-game partying.
One of the set’s landmark joints was the 700 Tap, at 7th and Walnut. The 700 meant different things to different people, married and single. But for those who thrived on booze-oriented mingling, its multi-level ambience couldn’t be topped on any night. And neither could Sunday noon gatherings of its star softball team and their hangers-on.
Hard by the 700 Tap was the storied Regal Theater — our Apollo — which we called “The Flick.” A small, unassuming movie house, it was the most noteworthy indoor gathering place in Milwaukee’s vibrant Black community of the ‘50s. Youngsters and adults alike piled-in to swoon for Lena Horne or tap their feet to Cab Calloway soundies.
The Regal interspersed its entertainment with Saturday night amateur shows and enticed us on week nights with a 25-cents admission for a movie-and-half after 9:30. Sundays were given over to triple-feature cowboy shoot-em-ups, and everyone seemed to get totally caught up in the goings-on up on the screen. It truly was a trip.
Our little Walnut, like big Harlem, wasn’t confined to a place or activity. But this short stretch of real estate buzzed with energy — from the Rose Room, Mr. Brown’s Colonial Barbershop, O’Bee’s Funeral Home, Art’s Shine Parlor, V&V Supermarket and the Bop Shop, to the Savoy Lounge, 711 Tap, Clara’s Restaurant, Manny Mauldin Jr.’s Harlem Records, the Booker T. Washington YMCA, Roosevelt Junior High School and the Milwaukee Globe newspaper, run by my late father, Sanford Carter.
Like most special places, Walnut featured colorful characters. Among them were blind old A.C., who regaled patrons at Mr. Brown’s with tales of his close ties with Jack Johnson, the fabled heavyweight champion of yore. And there was Dan Travis, called the “Bee Man” because for years he happily hawked a Black newspaper, The Chicago Bee.
Day or night, indoors or out, the Walnut Street of my youth was the best place in town for Black folks of all ages to be — and to be seen. It was something special. Those who lived it wouldn’t trade the experience, and those who are still around fondly remember it.
No, my Walnut of yesterday was not my Harlem of today, but yes, it was “much good,” as we used to say. And very well worth remembering. Indeed, I’ll never forget it. Milwaukee native Richard G. Carter is a freelance columnist.
Brentwood Church of Christ’s 3rd Annual Black Marriage Day event will be held on Saturday, March 16, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at 6425 N. 60th Street Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The theme will be Marriage Changes Things.
Evangelist Barry L. Gainey, minister, Hampton Ave. Church of Christ will provide an inspirational presentation and comedian Marlin Hill will be the featured entertainer.
A dessert social will be held following the event.
Black Marriage Day is a national observance that celebrates the value of marriage in the Black community. The event is open to the general public; including singles. Tickets are $15 per individual and $20 per couple, they can be purchased in advance or at the event. Please contact Thomas & Clarene Mitchell at 414-736-1546 for more information and tickets.